1968 and transnational history in Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s Die Brücke vom Goldenen Horn
- Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
This article considers the representation of transnational political movements around 1968 in Özdamar’s autobiographical novel Die Brücke vom Goldenen Horn (1998). The transnational perspective enables Özdamar to articulate cultural transfers between Turkey, West Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy in the context of Cold War political activism. The article will show how the novel reappraises the political movements of the late sixties and early seventies as transnational phenomena which in West Germany included the participation of ‘Gastarbeiter’, thus serving as a corrective to Eurocentric histories of 1968. This is followed by a consideration of the cultural practices of the political activists. The characters continually reference a canon of revolutionary authors including Brecht, Lorca, Rosa Luxemburg and Nâzım Hikmet in order to foster a sense of transnational identity. The article comments on the relevance of Hikmet’s concept of secular resurrection for Özdamar’s novel. Finally the article considers how words are depicted as physical presences and bodies are subjected to physical transformation. These techniques are central to Özdamar’s utopian presentation of transnational political activism as an erotic experience.